You grieve for those beyond grief,
And you speak words of insight;
But learned men do not grieve for dead or the living
Never have I not existed,
Nor you, nor these kings;
And never in the future shall we cease to exist.
Just as the embodied self enters childhood, youth, and old age,
So does it enter another body;
This does not confound a steadfast man.
Contacts with matter make us feel heat and cold, pleasure and pain.
Arjuna, you must learn to endure fleeting things- they come and go.
When these things cannot torment a man,
When suffering and joy are equal
For him and he has courage,
He is fit for immortality.
Nothing of Non-being comes to be,
Nor does being cease to exist;
The boundary between these two is seen by men who see reality.
Indestructible is the presence that pervades all this;
No one can destroy this unchanging reality.
Our bodies are known to end
But the embodied self is enduring,
Indestructible, and immeasurable;
Therefore, Arjuna, fight the battle!
He who thinks this self a killer
And he who thinks it killed,
Both fail to understand;
It does not kill, nor is it killed.
It is not born,
It does not die;
It will never not be;
Constant, and primordial,
It is not killed when the body is killed.
Arjuna, when a man knows the self
To be indestructible, enduring, unborn,
Unchanging, how does he kill Or cause anyone to kill?
As a man discards
To put on new
And different ones,
So the embodied self discards it's worn- out bodies
To take on other new ones.
Weapons do not cut it,
Fire does not burn it,
Waters do not wither it.
It cannot be burned;
It cannot be wet or withered;
It is enduring, all pervasive,
Fixed, immovable, and timeless.
It is called unmanifest,
Inconceivable, and immutable;
Since you that to be so,
You should not grieve!
If you think of its birth and death as ever-recurring,
Then too, Great Warrior,
You have no cause to grieve!
Death is certain for anyone born,
And birth is certain for the dead;
Since the cycle is inevitable,
You have no cause to grieve.
Creatures are unmanifest in origin,
Manifest in the midst of life,
And unmanifest again in the end.
Since this is so, why do you lament?
Rarely someone sees it,
Rarely another speaks it,
Rarely anyone hears it,
Even hearing it,
No one really knows it.
The self embodied in the body
Of every being is indestructible;
You have no cause to grieve for all these creatures Arjuna.
(Bhagavad Gita; Translation by Barbara Stoler Miller)
Quote Source and Recommended Reading:
'The Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War'
by Barbara Stoler-Miller (Author)
The Bhagavad-Gita has been an essential text of Hindu culture in India since the time of its composition in the first century A.D. One of the great classics of world literature, it has inspired such diverse thinkers as Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and T.S. Eliot; most recently, it formed the core of Peter Brook's celebrated production of the Mahabharata.